MarTech and SalesTech

The Robot and I: The Rise of Hybrid Service Teams

Jochen Wirtz, Stefanie Paluch and Werner Kunz



Keywords: AI,Service Automation, Service Robots, Hybrid Service Teams


Robot- and AI-delivered service offers unprecedented economies of scale as the bulk of the costs are incurred in development. Physical robots cost a fraction of adding headcount, and virtual robots scale at close to zero incremental costs. However, the relative strengths of humans and robotic services differ and are thus best deployed in different contexts. Humans can respond better to individual contexts and show better understanding in complaint and service recovery situations. At the same time, service robots can deliver services effectively that require high cognitive and analytical skills. For example, service robots can analyze large volumes of data, integrate internal and external information, recognize patterns and relate these to customer profiles. To get the best of both worlds, organizations should focus on implementing, managing and fine-tuning the deployment of robot-employee-customer cocreation teams to ensure and constantly increase the quality of their customer interactions.

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Jochen Wirtz, Professor of Marketing, National University of Singapore. jochen@nus.edu.sg

Stefanie Paluch, Professor of Services and Technology Marketing, RWTH Aachen University, Germany.

Werner H. Kunz, Professor of Marketing, University of Massachusetts Boston, USA.